I’ve realized when I’m depressed that I give very little time to myself. I don’t take the time to think about what I want in life, what I’ve accomplished, what I’d still like to accomplish, etc. I just worry instead.
Setting goals is important in life because it gives you something to focus on and work towards. When you meet small goals, you’ll inch closer to your bigger goals.
How to Set Goals When You’re Depressed
Start small. Like, tiny, tiny. The tiniest step towards your goal is always something to be proud of. When depression is challenging your inner voice, just take one tiny step towards what you want to accomplish.
If it’s to clean your house, begin with sweeping the kitchen or making your bed. If it’s to get ready for the day, start by taking a shower. If it’s to start working out, start by walking around the block.
Keep goals S.M.A.R.T. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant & Time Sensitive.
Evaluate. Take your needs, strengths, values and limits into consideration.
Reassess. When you’re dealing with depression, moods can shift greatly from day to day. Some days you feel stronger than others and that’s okay. Take that into consideration every day and reassess your tiny steps to do what you’re able to do that particular day.
Don’t beat yourself up. If and when you have a setback (because you will, everybody does), realize it’s not the end of the world. Some days are just better or worse than others and that goes for everyone. Tomorrow is a new day to try again.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the big goal(s). It takes time to achieve goals. Don’t belittle the tiny steps you might be taking to get there. A step forward is better than staying in the same place. Focus on the tiny steps.
When you’re feeling depressed and down, try to remember to give yourself some time to think about what you want to accomplish. Depression makes it hard to be hopeful sometimes but the alternative to not setting goals is not working towards the things you want to accomplish in life. When you move closer towards your goals, it gives you something positive and something to be hopeful for.
All of us struggling with depression can always use some hope.